THE HISTORY OF THE K.C. MILLER FAMILY
by Jim and Irene Miller
Kenelm Cyrus Miller, the second son of Dr. and Mrs. F.G. Miller was born in Elk Point at the family home. His parents chose the names Keneim Cyrus and he was duly registered. A few days later, his mother decided that she wished to change his name to James Lister and asked his father to make the change. Dr. Miller, being the very busy man, neglected to do this. Throughout his childhood and school years, he was known to everyone as Jim Miller.
Jim spent most of his school years in Elk Point. Grades one to four were taught in one room of what is now the Court House; grades five to eight in another room in the Court House. Grades nine to twelve were taught in what is presently the United Church Rummage Store. His parents sent him to Vermilion to take his grade twelve there.
Jim had a busy, happy childhood with his sister and brothers. The house that he was born in had seven chimneys and nine stoves - all of which had to be fed poplar, spruce or tamarack with the occasional lump of coal. The boys in the family had this responsibility. Also, they were all taught to handle and ride horses, milk cows and labor on a farm. During the school years a large part of the summer was spent playing hardball and a great part of the winter playing hockey, as coached by F.G. Miller. Jim recalls all the fires started accidentally by the various children in the old house; the business of his parents; the long absences of his father doing his rounds and trips, and the joys of summer vacations at the many lakes in North-Eastern Alberta.
About the time Jim graduated from grade twelve, World War II began. In 1940, Jim decided to enlist in the Canadian Air Force. He proceeded to the Manning Depot in Edmonton. When he tried to enlist, he discovered that there was no James Lister Miller registered in Elk Point, but there was a Kenelm Cyrus Miller registered as having been born to his parents. From this time on, he had to assume this legal name for all business and legal purposes. After enlisting he was sent to Claresholm, Alberta for Tarmac Duty, then back to Edmonton for Initial Training School. The consequences of this move were long lasting. Jim's brother, George, a medical student, introduced him to a summer school student, Irene Kroening, whom he later married. The next move was to High River, Alberta for Elementary Flying Training School. Then he went on to Calgary, Alberta, for Senior Flying Training School. Summerside, Prince Edward Island was the next stop for basic training in Navigation and anti-submarine Warfare. Flying Officer K.C. Miller was next sent to Sea Island, Vancouver. However, en route, he took a detour to La-mont, Alberta, where he became engaged to Irene. In Sea Island, he joined the 160th Squadron of the Canadian Air Force, and here he began to fly Canso planes. The next move was to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. In October 1945 Irene joined him there and they were married. When Jim was posted to Torbay, Newfoundland, the following year, Irene returned to Alberta to continue her university studies. The remainder of the war was spent in Torbay, looking for submarines in the cold gray waters of the Atlantic and giving air protection to convoys en route to England.
In June 1945, VE Day being accomplished and VJ Day almost a fact, Flight Lieutenant Miller received his discharge from the RCAF and in September started university in the faculty of science, leading to a degree in medicine. Irene graduated with a BSc. degree in home economics in 1946. She then took a year of dietetic internship at the University of Alberta Hospital. Then she accepted a position at the University of Alberta as a lecturer in home economics, which position she maintained until 1951.
Jim graduated with his degree in medicine in 1951, subsequently taking a year of internship at the University Hospital in 1952. Then they moved to Calgary where Jim spent a year in general practice and surgical training with the Calgary Associate Clinic. Then Jim, Irene, and family returned to Elk Point, where he has carried on the practice of medicine since that time.
Jim is now continuing in the practice started by his father in 1920. Conditions are considerably different than they used to be. Where his father had to travel many miles contending with all sorts of road and weather conditions, now patients come to the clinic and hospital on their own. Despite all the modern conveniences, he is very busy and has less time for leisure than his father used to have. His position as Coroner still takes him on trips within a forty mile radius.
In Elk Point Jim has been active in church work, serving on the board continuously for twenty-three years. He used to sing in the Adult Choir. Over the years he has been involved with various youth groups such as Boy Scouts, Hi-C, and Junior Choir. He has held shares in the Elk Point Gas Company and is presently serving as its president. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and a member of the Eastern Star. He owns his own Cessna 172, which he flies for business and personal pleasure. He and other interested pilots were instrumental in getting a gravel air strip built at the golf course. As a member of the Airport Development Committee, he is helping to look for land on which to build a new airport with a longer concrete runway. He is serving on the town council as this is written. He represents the town in an advisory position on the Library Board.
In sport, he is interested in golfing, fishing; swimming, canoeing, and boating in summer. He is an ardent curler and is extremely interested in hockey.
As well as raising four children, Irene has been involved in church work, serving on the board, the Manse Committee, and the Visitation Committee. She has belonged to the wornans' group in the church since moving to Elk Point and is now serving as president of the United Church Women. As well as substitute teaching, she taught home economics here for six years. She was a member of the Home & School Association, the Further Education Committee and the Recreation Board. Eastern Star forms a very important part of her life, Recently she was honored with the appointment of Grand Representative to Rhode Island in Alberta. She is active in the Hospital Auxiliary and the Canadian Save the Children fund. She is an enthusiastic curler.
The Miller children are all well, making good progress in their chosen work. Barbara graduated from the University of Alberta Hospital School of Nursing and is nursing in that institution at present. Heather, now Mrs. Marvin Bjornstad, is living in Grand Center, Alberta. She works as a teacher's aide in the Cold Lake school. Kenelm is just finishing his second year of the science program at the University of Alberta. He hopes to enter the Faculty of Dentistry in September. Richard has finished his grade twelve, has taken a year off to work and hopes to go to university in the fall.